chinese digital marketing

How Local Content Increased Revenue For IQIYI

local content

Local Content Has Won Chinese Hearts On IQIYI

Local Content has been regaining its crown in the fantasy world of Movies and T.V. shows on Netflix, IQIYI, Amazon Prime and any other streaming platform under the sun. We’re going to find out how and why local content is doing the deed for a country with the highest population in the world, that browses WeChat instead of Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram, Weibo instead of Twitter and IQIYI instead of Netflix.

The Chinese streaming giant IQIYI Inc. one of Baidu’s creations that raised an estimated $2.25 billion has been drawing subscribers in droves (5 million to be precise) with its local content. If you aren’t familiar with IQIYI’s business model, read it here.  We’re wondering what a film like ‘Beijing love story’, a local film about five pairs of lovers, did differently?

Why Is Local Content Winning?

We’ve spoken a lot about Chinese consumers in the past and how they like their content brewed. Chinese consumers have a strong affinity towards their country, government and language. They appreciate stories that have strong regional connections and a display of great character. If you as a local, take the efforts to learn a little Chinese and converse with the locals, they’ll adore you and treat you like family. A strong storyline coupled with humour or emotion are secret ingredients to winning acknowledgement from the Chinese. The movie had already garnered a cult following from its T.V. show back in 2012 with its localised characters, plot and storyline which is why its popularity was a given on streaming sites like IQIYI.

The Chinese are proud of their country’s history and relate to heroic themes favourably. Films with similar themes like Wolf Of Warrior 2 and The Wandering Earth are some of the movies that fared well on this platform. According to data from the State Film Administration, domestically produced films that accounted for 62% of China’s total box office in 2018, took off from 48.5% in 2012.

“Chinese consumers no longer care about whether a movie is a made-in-US blockbuster or not, they will go and watch a movie as long as the content quality is good,” said Ya Ning, president of iQiyi Pictures.

What Does This Tell You About Business In China?

We’ve already spilled out the formula above and we’d like to reiterate how important localised content is! If you’re running a business in China and wondering why you aren’t getting the desired response, take a cue and make changes to your content strategy and the results will surprise you. When we talk local content, we mean Chinese blogs (In Pinyin), Infographics, videos, guides that will grab local Chinese attention and eventually make them click with your brand.

Facts That You Can’t Dismiss

You’re probably assuming that your business is reaching out to at least a few decent millions that speak English. We’d like to break it to you that only 10 million Chinese individuals speak English from a pool of 1.4 billion people. That is fewer than 1 in 100. Do you really want to leave out the rest? (1,409,600,466 individuals to be precise)  

It’s only fair that you adapt your digital marketing strategy in a manner that is localised to the Chinese and that involves securing a local server and ICP license, optimising keywords on Baidu, securing official and subscription WeChat accounts, creating Weibo accounts etc.


When you set out to localise your content, you’re probably wondering If it stops at ‘translation’. It Doesn’t. China has seen brands fly or fail for glitches as little as a leaked text message, wrong translation, inappropriate humour (The Chinese are sensitive), wrong tonality, imaging and a host of other reasons that the brand failed to understand about their Chinese consumers. We’d advise you to take a better precaution at the beginning because the cure might cost you more than you can handle.  

We’d be happy to assist you with localised Chinese Content Marketing

    Get in Touch

    Our Partners